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Muslims Confront Islamism, Get Targeted by Islamists
by David J. Rusin • Feb 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm
French imam Hassen Chalghoumi recently learned firsthand that Islamists despise non-Islamist Muslims as much as they do anyone else. Chalghoumi attracted their ire by coming out strongly in favor of a ban on face-covering veils, a prohibition that is moving closer to reality. Echoing President Nicolas Sarkozy, he described the niqab as a "prison for women, a tool of sexist domination and Islamist indoctrination" that "has no place in France." Moreover, he explained:
Islamist reaction to his comments was swift and fierce, with a gang of nearly a hundred men storming his Paris mosque during a meeting of an organization focused on interfaith relations:
Chalghoumi is not the only moderate risking "liquidation." Abadirh Abdi Hussein, a Muslim rapper in Sweden, had his head slashed by attackers displeased with his outspoken opposition to al-Shabaab, which has been recruiting young men to join the jihad in Somalia. And, as IW noted in January, Majed Moughni received a death threat after organizing a demonstration by Detroit-area Muslims to denounce the attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing.
Undeterred by this atmosphere of intimidation, many other Muslims have gone on offense against radicalism in recent months. Among them:
As the above examples suggest, at the core of the resurgent jihad is a conflict between an authoritarian interpretation of Islam and a more spiritual, secular interpretation. The fate of two worlds — the Western and the Islamic — will be shaped profoundly by the outcome.